Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 3, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm EDT

11:00 am
from doha. have a great day. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello there, welcome to the news hour. i'm laura kyle in doha. hectic scenes in hungary as refugees lie on railway tracks in a bid to stop being taken to nearby camps. syrians of all backgrounds have been the subject of crimes against humanity. the u.n. sets out in forensic detail what people are fleeing
11:01 am
from. >> reporter: china pledges to cut its army by 300,000 as it commemorates the end of the second world war. and despite an estimated 3 trillion trees on earth, find out why scientists say one day there may be none left. ♪ there have been chaotic scenes in hungary after a train full of refugees was stopped 35 kilometers outside of budapest. riot police ordered refugees to get off of the train, but many resisted. members of one family through themselves on the tracks. the police were taking them to a refugee -- a reception center for refugees. andrew simmons is in the area where the train has been stopped. and andrew you have been talking about this for a few hours now.
11:02 am
desperate scenes earlier, then the police loaded them back on to the train. so what is the situation now? >> reporter: a very uneasy standoff with the police surrounding this train, with the media forcibly removed from the platform. it has been declared a police operational area. however, we are able to get this view, and if we move in on this shot here, we can see there are some refugees there -- there talking to the police. it is highly unclear as to what is going to happen next. however, there are six buses sitting outside and everyone is assuming that the police intend at some stage to remove everyone off of this train and on to the buses. there is a refugee camp nearby, described as a reception center. it is not a detention camp. however, these people say -- they have been chanting,
11:03 am
no camp, no camp, no camp. early on thursday morning they rushed with everyone else on to the station in budapest, thinking they were on their way to germany or austria. they had their tickets -- their international tickets, most of them. they boarded this train en masse, cramming inside. the police let them do it. however, this train has made an unscheduled stop here. it was bound for the border. it's a domestic train, because all international trains have been suspended, and now we have a situation where it is stopped, and we don't know what is going to happen next. we were on that platform talking to the refugees when suddenly they all rushed back into the train and it was assumed the train was about november off. we tried to board the train. we were stopped from doing so by the police, and then the police
11:04 am
pushed us, physically along the platform. all of the media tried to stay there, but they were forcibly removed from that platform through the underpass now to here. the situation is muddled, because we're not sure how these police can really calm down the refugees if they try to move them to the buses. laura? >> okay. andrew simmons there, reporting on the tense standoff that remains at the station in hungary. andrew we'll leave it there for the moment. thank you very much for the update. earlier hungary's prime minister urged refugees not to come to europe at all. he says it's e.u.'s moral obligation to tell people they may not be granted asylum if they do make it across the borders. >> please don't come. why you have to go from turkey to europe in turkey is a safe country. stay there. it's risky to come. we can't guarantee that you will
11:05 am
be received here. so morally and from humaning point of view, we will defend the border and we represent a human moral point also. because we would not like to falsefy the dreams of the people. we make clear, please don't come. turkey is a safe country. serbia is a safe country. many countries are safe between europe and the regions. so it's better for your family, for your kids, for yourself to stay. >> let's talk now to mohammed jamjoom at budapest's main rail station. the prime minister gives very little doubt as to how he feels about refugees arriving in hungary. what are people there reacting to that? >> reporter: they have quite upset. i have talked to number of
11:06 am
refugees, they said that even if he doesn't want them here, that he should allow them to leave. they can't understand the politics of the situation here. they say it has become much more dangerous for them here now, they say they are not getting understanding from the government here, and if the government doesn't want them here, they should allow them to get on these trains and go to other countries that would welcome them. right now the atmosphere is so distrustful of the hungarian government, that the refugees i have spoken with, they say that even if a train were to open up to them right now, they wouldn't get on it, because they are afraid it would take them to a refugee camp, because they are all too well aware of what happened earlier in the day with regard to what andrew was telling you just a few moments ago. >> of course the frustration levels have been raising, people's desperation was clear from the outset, what is the
11:07 am
atmosphere like there now? >> reporter: it's calmed a bit in the last ten minutes. about half an hour ago it started to get tense again. because you had young syrian refugees mostly males that were shouting at the police, demanding to be let in. they were saying they needed to be able to go somewhere that would welcome them and their families, and then you had more police come out. if we could pan over here, we're standing very close to several policemen that -- you can see them there now. they came out here and it looked at one point as though there was going to be more of a tense standoff. that did not happen. the scene outside of the main doors here, there are hundreds of syrian refugees. they are out there, sitting, demanding to be let out of hungary to go somewhere else so they can get on with their lives.
11:08 am
so many people say it has taken them so long to get here. many have utilized their life's savings. they feel unwelcome here and they just want to be able to move on to somewhere else in the european union. laura. >> mohammed jam ju -- jamjoom reporting there. france and germany say they have agreed on a system to take in refugees. the french president said more innocent would die if europe failed to respond to the crisis. >> translator: it's no longer about words. it's about saving lives. we need to solve with dignity the situation of people who have the right to seek asylum, who are refugees. we must differentiate between refugees and migrants, migranting coming for some other
11:09 am
reasons such as escaping poverty cannot be welcomed under this regime. the turkish president has criticized europe's response to the crisis. >> translator: i definitely consider the way some european nations classify refugees and admit some of them according to qualifications, as humane. they are being classified one by one. how can you do that? they are not agricultural products. they are human beings. we should receive them all as human beings, without distinguishing. >> we have seen a lot of shocking images during this crisis, one of the most shocking is of a small boy washed up on a turkish beach. and he has come to symbolize the whole plight of refugees. that harrowing story has become the subject of several cartoons. like these. the first shows a map with this
11:10 am
barbed wire fence between the rest of the world and the drowned three year old. another powerful cartoon shows his lifeless body on the beach with a bunch of black balloons tied to his wrist. the three year old also in a safe, warm bed. our correspondent has his story. >> reporter: it become a symbol of the desperation facing thousands. the lifeless body of this three year old syrian boy, washed up on the beach in turkey. he and his five-year-old brother were among a group of syrians who drowned trying to make the short but dangerous crossing to the greek island of kos. the image has been retreated thousands of time. pressure is mounting on european politicians to do more.
11:11 am
it is a policy crisis and a moral one. >> we had to deploy a team to greece, and to the three neighboring islands where about two-thirds of the refugees from the -- that have arrived in europe this year have landed, and what they are telling me is horrifying stories of people who are losing brothers, husbands in war, then having children abused on the passage to europe, and then in the worst cases, seeing people that they are with on boats cross the aegean or mediterranean, drown on the way to the shores of europe. turkish coast guard rescued more than 2,000 people from the aegean sea. there are stories of survival but also death and despair. nearly half of syrias population has been forced from their homes, leaving behind the loved ones, either dead or trapped by intensifying
11:12 am
fighting. the united nations has set out in forensic detail what many are fleeing from. it says people from all communities have been victims of war crimes. as armed fighters from isil, al-qaeda, and syria's own military, have caused people to be swept up in this the violence. syrian men of fighting age are targeted by all factions. many are killed because they are seen as a potential enemy. many more are jailed out charge. women or girls are ceased, attacked, or raped. this can be to humiliate the men in their family or to force them to surrender. children have been executed by rebels and died in government
11:13 am
air attacks, some as young as six have actually been trained to fight. we're joined now via skype from geneva from a member of the u.n.'s independent committee of inquiry, who took part -- or was commissioner of this actual report. every day we report, don't we, on the horrors of syria, but it's good to actually once in a while see it listed like this in a report to bring home just what life is like for civilians there. >> absolutely. this is our tenth report, and instead of just listing violations and violations, what we have tried to do is look on the impact on affected population through the eyes of different groups, women, children, detained persons, besieged persons, the displaced covering both internal and external. so you see this bird's eye view
11:14 am
of how people are affected. >> yeah, and one thing that really jumped out of this report for me was there were so many agencies invested in this battle now, both inside and outside of syria, that you conclude that there's no way out. >> well, the tract that we are contemplating on, the human rights tract which looksal violation and calls for accountability, there is also the political tract, which tries to look at the political steps towards a solution. so basically, you need a variety of cooperative modalities and tracks to come together, particularly with regard to what we call now not just a non-international conflict, but
11:15 am
nationalized international conflict. >> and what immediate action are you calling for? >> in the most immediate sense, particularly livelihoods, the lives of those inside syria, still today, including some 8 million internally displaced persons and many others who have not been able to move, of course protected space, assistance, humanitarian access to food, water, ending of sieges and so on. the other angle that you have been talking about is the external implication, the spillover, the refugees. there are 4 million refugees displaced outside of syria now, and it's the neighboring countries who hosted most of these people. and we must try to expand this space to ensure that their shared responsibility of other countries and actors in burden sharing and helping to provide humanitarian space in terms of
11:16 am
temporary space and solution. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. still to come here on this news hour. guatemala's president resigns in the face of a corruption scandal. and we're live from the international criminal court, where the congolese mannone as the terminator, takes the stand in his defense. and jo will be here with all of the sport. ♪ at least 15 people have drowned off of the coast of malaysia. an overcrowded boat capsized. officials believe those on board were indonesians who had been working illegally in malaysia. our correspondent has more.
11:17 am
>> reporter: police here in malaysia have recovered yet another body from this boat disaster. that brings the number of dead to at least 15. 20 or so people have survived, most are being held at the police headquarters in the town about 150 kilometers north of the capitol. authorities say they have launched an investigation into this. they are particularly interested in finding out who was operating this ferry service between malaysia and indonesia, whether it was being operated legally, whether they were enough safety precautions on this vessel. they are also looking into the nationalities of the passengers. now authorities say they are confident that all of the passengers were indonesian, and that's after having spoken to the survivors. they say the people they interviewed were not carrying documents or passports, however,
11:18 am
they were all speaking in the indonesia language. if these passengers are found to be illegal migrants, illegal workers who had come to malaysia from indonesia to work temporarily, then they may face charges. however, authorities say the focus still is very much on search and rescue. else haves are still at sea, looking for survivors. officials have told me that in the morning, the air surveillance of the affected area will also resume. however, the more time that goes on, the less chance there is of finding survivors. guatemala's congress is meeting to work out how to hand over powers to the vice president. on wednesday a judge ordered the president's arrest over corruption allegations after congress voted to strip him of
11:19 am
his immunity. protesters have been calling for him to resign for months. we're joined live from guatemala city. it's quite a mess that the lawmakers have got to wade through. what is the latest you are hearing? >> reporter: well, i don't think laura, that guatemala has ever seen a week quite like this one. on tuesday we had the immunity being lifted from the then president. then the arrest warrant issued. he was saying he was going to fight the charges against him. and then just before midnight, he resigned. he is now giving his side of the story while politicians will decide whether to accept the resignation or not. that will almost certainly happen. and then a new president will be sworn in. the vice president who has only been the vice president since may, because the previous vice president caught up in the same corruption scandal is at the moment in prison awaiting trial.
11:20 am
a whole lot of events going on here with the no small matter of presidential elections coming sunday. thousands of people regularly out on the streets asking for the president's resignation. they are now got that. there have been many celebrations around the city this morning. more scheduled for later in the day. so a great deal happening here. >> absolutely. and is guatemala in any position to hold elections in a few day's time? >> reporter: well, i think they are. there are those who questioned holding the elections this sunday. others who were saying well, it is part of the political process. they should be holding elections. many see this as a very positive move, everything that is going on now. corruption is nothing new to guatemala, to latin america, this is the first time we have seen a president resign, we have seen in many ways a smooth
11:21 am
transition to what is happening at the moment, which generally are clean politicians, those not stained by the corruption scandal, the opinion polls showing them doing very well in the run-up to these elections. so many people here see this as a positive move. >> absolutely. a big job indeed. daniel thanks very much. former congolese rebel leader has told the international criminal court that he is just a professional soldier trying to protect his people. he has pleaded not guilty to 18 charges including murder, rape, and recruitment of child soldiers. barnaby phillips joins us live from the hague where the trial is taking place. barnaby it seems he is going to wash his hands of any responsibility of any of these charges. what have you been hearing there
11:22 am
today? >> reporter: he spoke for about half an hour this afternoon, laura. calmly, quietly, in swahili. and he said he did not recognize the picture of him that the court had been presented with during the morning and yesterday eaves dense. that he was a professional disciplined soldier who lead men in uniform. he was not a criminal. let's hear a little bit of his testimony this afternoon. >> translator: as an officer i have always fought with people in uniform, i have never attacked civilians. on the other hand, your honor, i have always protected them. >> and what have you been hearing from the prosecution team? >> earlier in the day, we heard from lawyers speaking on behalf of witnesses, and they were paining a very disturbing account of the militia fighting in the province in eastern congo, back in 2002.
11:23 am
for example, they spoke about one girl -- i think she was 15 years old, and she was saying that she had actually been relieved when one of his commanders took her as his, quote, wife, because it meant that she was no longer handed around from soldier to soldier for sexual favors. and we also heard on behalf of other families who said they had been made to watch -- their relatives were forced to dig their own graves and then were buried alive. very, very disturbing stuff. the court has been adjourned now until september 15th, that's when the first witnesses themselves are due to appear. there are more than 80 who are due to give evidence at that trial. legal experts are warning that that means this could go on for years. the wheels of international justice, i'm afraid, turn very slowly, because the victims have
11:24 am
already waited 12 or 13 years for this trial to begin. >> and it is a very important trial to see to its conclusion. barnaby phillips thanks very much for joining us there from the hague. china's president has pledged to cut the size of the military by 300,000 personnel. he made the announcement at a huge military parade in beijing to mark 70 years since japan surrendered in world war ii. >> reporter: a nation's pride and military might on display. an historic opportunity for the chinese to remember the many millions who died during world war ii, fighting japanese aggression. it hasn't seen this sort of parade since 2009. it's only the fourth since 1960. 12,000 military personnel, ve vept -- representing all of the
11:25 am
military services. a huge security operation surrounding the event, and not everybody wants to watch the parade from home, so many have come to vantage points like this to see the parade, not necessarily passing them on the road, but up in the sky. >> translator: i have watched past several parades on tv. i feel like this is the most spectacular one. this is an historical moment for china. >> reporter: many waited for a much-anticipated speech from the chinese president, including specially invited heads of states and delegations from more than a hundred countries. >> translator: people's liberation army of china is the people's army. it's duty is to protect the nation's security and people's well-being, and carry out the
11:26 am
noble mission of upholding world peace. here i announce that china will cut the number of its troops by 300,000. >> reporter: despite the significant statement, many leaders from western nations and the prime minister of japan did not attend. they see china sending a message that it can and will defend itself and any disputed territory it aims to claim. china was on the winning side during world war ii. military personnel from ten nations, including russia, china's closest ally pakistan joined to view the parade. but china needed to remember its fallen heros and pay tribute to their sacrifice. but there's a new message of
11:27 am
china's military might, a global superpower that never wants to see another world at war again. still to come here on al jazeera, back into the fold, ghana opens its arms to women once accused of witchcraft. and asia's football champions edge closer to world cup qualifications. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
11:28 am
11:29 am
>> in the wake of the baltimore riots. everyday citizens are fighting to take their neighborhoods back. >> it's a movement to make a difference. >> educating. >> i feel safer in here. >> the library means something to the people here. >> healing. >> we really have to talk about
11:30 am
how can we save lives. >> restoring. >> we given' a family a chance because some of the houses are bein' rebuilt. >> can they rescue their city? hello, again, the top stories on al jazeera. a train carrying refugees from budapest's main train station have been stopped by police. they were hoping to go to austria. guatemala's president is facing fraud charges over corruption scandal. he resigned after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. congress stripped him of his immunity from prosecution after months of protests calling for
11:31 am
the president to step down. and the former congolese rebel leader says he was just a professional solder trying to protect his people. he has pleaded not guilty to 18 charges, including murder, rape, and recruitment of child soldiers. al jazeera has been leaked a draft copy of the plan to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in syria. it calls for a start to negotiations, initially without a ceasefire, but with buy-in from all parties to not use barrel bombs of chemical weapons. the aim would be to reach a permanent ceasefire later. the first phase gives the current government a partial role, allowing bashar al-assad to exercise some functions, then it recommends a longer transitional phase leading up to
11:32 am
general elections under u.n. supervision. an interim governing body would run the country. we are joined now live from washington, d.c. great to have you with us. what do you make of this draft plan from the envoy? >> reporter: well, he has been given an impossible job. let's think about it. kofi annan had this job, brahimi, an tremendously respected international diplomat had it and now this man. and they don't have enough to work with. the -- the facts on the ground will dictate what happens diplomatically. and right now you have a situation in which -- at least many elements of the opposition,
11:33 am
most of them radical believe they can win an outright victory over the asaw regime. and the assad regime believes it can hold on to damascus, the main ports as well as the most populated areas of syria. so there's really, at this point no basis for believing that the combatting parties can be brought to the negotiating table. >> so why would he have bothered to put forward a plan? >> well, you know, he has a job to do, and i think he once said he is an eternal optimist, which is probably good in his position. he has tried different ploys and after all, at some point wars end. they may not end for 20 years, but they end. and you need to have plans in place for how they could be brought to an end if the parties were agreed. but one of the main obstacles to
11:34 am
any peace as i see it, is the two best fighting forces on the ground for the opposition are the so-called islamic state and the nusra front which is a branch of al-qaeda, these are two groups to which the international order is going to sit down with in geneva, nor would they want to sit down with them. so how do you make an omelet out of these smashed eggs? >> do you think there have been missed opportunities in this conflict? perhaps before the rise of these two groups you were just talking about? >> well clearly, bashar al-assad did not have to take the tact that he did in 2011 when
11:35 am
originally there were peaceful demonstrations in the streets of major cities all over syria. assad, i think, clinically calculated that he needed a really detestable enemy, and he used force against the peaceful protesters, and eventually drove many moderate people into the arms of islamist radicals, the perfect enemy for the assad regime. we may be bad, but do you really want these fellows? >> absolutely. great to get your views on this. thanks very much for taking the time to join us. unicef says 13 million children across the middle east and africa are not able to go to school because of conflict. around 9,000 schools are not being used across the region. children and teachers are afraid of being attacked on their way to school. increasing refugee numbers are
11:36 am
also putting a strain on education systems. there are more than 700,000 syrian refugee children in jordan, lebanon and turkey. jamal is in the valley in lebanon. >> reporter: we're at one of the hundreds of makeshift refugee camps scattered across lebanon. lebanon has the third-highest number of refugees in the world. in fact it also has the highest number of refugees per capita. these aren't only the huge influx of syrians, but also there are thousands of palestinians who have been here for decades. the children during a school day aren't at school, instead they roam around the camps, because there aren't enough educational institutions or enough support services to provide an education. in fact some of them are forced to work at a very young age. this child here is one of those.
11:37 am
he works from 4:00 in the morning until midday, and at the end of it, he gets roughly around 5 usd or 4 usd, that is a 12-year-old child who was telling me when he was back home in syria, he went to school, and he learned english there, but obviously for three years now he has been stuck here and he is unable not only to pursue his education, but he is forced to work. it is important to note at least he is at least working. there are hundreds who are forced to work on the streets, some of them in drug smuggling or even any sex industry. so it's a bleak picture for now and the future. a senior doctor in nepal is trying to raise awareness of corruption in the medical system. he has been on a hunger strike for the past 11 days. some doctors have been showing
11:38 am
their support for his campaign. >> reporter: there aren't a lot of people around this hospital in kathmandu, that's because doctors are striking, and unless it's an emergency, patients have been told they will have to come back another day. >> translator: i came to do some tests, but i'm told that the hospital is closed. i can't get service. it cost me $16 to travel from my home. what kind of country is this? >> reporter: government hospitals across the country have halted outpatient services to support this doctor. a senior orthopedic surgeon who has been on hunger strike for 11 days, which he says is a fight for quality medical education and a protest against political interference and corruption in medical colleges. one of his demands has been prosecution of medical colleges that have been found to forge
11:39 am
student and teacher's records as well as that of hospital facilities. doctors say that the practice is so ramp pant in some private medical colleges that it is contributing to the overall decline in standards. nepal has 20 medical colleges and the government runs three. each private college produces between 150 to 100 doctors every year. the annual profit is a minimum of $5 million. >> the problem here is that income accountability, what [ inaudible ] that has been used for the wrong purpose. it is used to bribe [ inaudible ] instead of providing qualify medical education. >> reporter: this is the sixth time he has been on hunger strike, and each time he says the government agreed to his demand. but so far none of the agreements have been kept.
11:40 am
after the last protest, the government established a fact-finding commission which concluded that no more licenses should be given to new medical colleges. but on wednesday the government agreed to process pending medical licenses. dr. casey says is not [ inaudible ]. >> [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: as his health weakens, doctors here hope the government will finally make decisions to improve nepal's healthcare system. ghana's government is teaming up with ngo's to stop the ill treatment of women who have been accused of witchcraft.
11:41 am
our correspondent has their story. >> reporter: this settlement is a safe haven for women who have been accused of being witches. this woman has been here for three years. today her daughter has come to visit. she says she left her home after she was blamed for her niece falling sick. >> translator: when the crowd attacked me, i was sad. they came there with sticks and so many other things, and the intention was to kill me. the chief stepped in to say i should not be killed. >> reporter: this is one of the minority of women who have been accepted back into a regular community. she is now living with her brother and his family after 20 years of being in a camp. >> translator: being home with my family has helped me a lot. now if i sick my brother is there. i am happy here. >> reporter: the government is working to reintegrate more
11:42 am
women back into their communities. it has managed to wind down one camp, but there are still five left. >> because it's a cultural it has been very difficult to do away with it. and so what we do is use them as a means, working with the community, working with civil society, and also particularly, working with the traditional leaders to get them to appreciate and understand that it is totally wrong. >> reporter: some of these camps have been around for more than a hundred years, so the idea that a woman can be a witch is deeply ingained, any woman can be accused but it's often those who can't have children, elderly, or are outspoken. the government's plan is to transform the camps into regular communities over the next five years. this woman is afraid of returning home because of the
11:43 am
trauma. she says like all of the women here, she just wants to be accepted. u.s. president barack obama says alaska's warming climate is a wake-up call to america. he has toured two remote towns that have already seen the effect of climate change. obama says the u.s. isn't doing enough to stop temperatures increasing. >> america has to lead the word in transitioning to a clean-energy economy. now as we make this transition, we have also got to take more seriously our obligation to help those communities that are already at risk, so that they can become more resilient in the face of climate change. one of the largest lakes in north america is under threat of pollution. toxic allergy -- algae is
11:44 am
endangering lake erie. >> reporter: to prevent fertilizer and other runoff from this farm from feeding the algee blooms this man plants tall grass along the river, after he arvests the fields he replants with rye grass. >> it doesn't reroad. >> reporter: so it's specifically designed to keep everything from washing off the soil. >> exactly. >> reporter: on conservations puts much of the blame on farmers. they estimate two-thirds of the feed for the algee comes from farms. >> i'm trying to do all i can. and agriculture is part of the
11:45 am
problem, i'm not going to deny that. but urbanization, industry. there's other people that dump things into the river. >> reporter: he might have a point. when we watched this conservationist test the water from the mawmy river, before it was 5 parts her million, after the plant, the level tripled. >> this one is 15. first reading was about 5. this one is 15. >> reporter: the problem is none of the states along lake erie require disclosure of the sources of the pollution. that is required in fox river. >> you can't put raw sewage in the water and think it's good for the water. we ought to look at all sources and see how much we can get reductions at the lowest cost to bring the lake back to health again. >> reporter: heavy rains have not helped.
11:46 am
this might be a particularly bad summer. early summer rains have washed over the sides of the river. you can see the water has encroached into the tree line. that has taken soil into the river, and the maumi feeds into lake erie. erie is the first to develop algee blooms, a warning for a system that supplies 20% of the world's fresh water. conservationists say, until the surrounding states start reporting on where the sources are, lake erie will continue to choke on toxic algee. >> do stay with us. because still ahead, we'll be finding out why scientists say one day there might be no trees left on earth. and in sport the gift the syrian football team hope to give to the people enduring the conflict back home. ♪
11:47 am
11:48 am
♪ >> the good news is there are 3 trillion free -- trees on earth. seven times more than scientists thought there were. a team used 400,000 measurements as well as satellite and computer models, and found that 5 billion trees are cut down every year and only 5 billion are being planted. the man who lead the counting is thomas from yale university.
11:49 am
he says earth has lost roughly half of its trees at the hands of man kind. >> we have a lot more than flefous estimate suggested. that's not to suggest that we found new trees. that just means that we have used newer techniques and information to provide a more robust estimate. the scale was very mucher surprising to us. we're losing somewhere between 10 and 15 million trees each year, and at the current rate that means forests will be depleted as a very fast rate. but now that we know this, people are now able to set targets and meaningful goals, and they really have to step up their efforts to stop these damaging impacts. we were surprised to find out
11:50 am
throughout the course of human civilization the number of trees has fallen by almost 50%. and that's a huge reduction. >> let's get all of the sport now with jo. >> laura, thank you. tom brady has successfully had his four-game ban lifted over the deflate gate scandal. that means brady will be allowed to play for the patriots in the season opener in eight day's time. the scandal began in january after the patriots afc championship win over the colts that sen them to the super bowl. it was found that two patriot employees most probably deflated balls on purpose.
11:51 am
the nfl gave brady a four-game ban saying he was at least somewhat aware of the situation. australia has gone top of group b after thrashing bangladesh 5-0. they netted 4 goals within the first 30 minutes. aaron made it 5 in the 61st minute with an impressive strike. japan beat cambodian 3-0 in group e. south korea were even more convincing. iraq has a comprehensive 5-1 win. iran and the united arab imrates with 5-0 up against malaysia.
11:52 am
syria hosts singapore. their goal is to qualify for the 2018 tournament in russia as a gift to the people back home. if they beat singapore, they will go top. >> the trouble in the country, we think of that, but first of all we are here to play football and make our country happy and our people especially, because we -- everybody has a difficult moment. >> as you have been hearing germany has taken in thousands of refugees over recent months. the top football club is also doing its part. buyer munich has set up a training camp for the refugees. they are also planning to donate over $1 million from a charity football match. and they will walk out with german and refugee children in
11:53 am
their next home game. iceland are closing in on their first-ever [ inaudible ] in a major competition, as they take on netherlands. they sit top of group b in six matches so far. they could wrap up their first qualification with two draws in the next few days. pretty good, considering the team were ranked 131st in the world just three years ago. >> i think for a country like us, we're a tough group, and [ inaudible ] and then of course holland are third at the moment, but there's still four games to go, and i mean, everything can happen. we can drop down to third or fourth or finish second or first, so it's still a lock way to go. we just have to make sure we're doing the things we continue to do without the whole competition. >> as you heard there, the top two from every group
11:54 am
automatically go through. czech republic hosts kazakhstan. whales travelled to cyprus, and belgium hosts b-- because nia. italy is just two points behind croatia. fifa's new reform committee seems to have stalled after its very first meeting. the closed session was meant to help the governing body discuss how to become more transparent, but the committee's chairman admitted they have yet to come up with proposals for change, and they may make more progress in october. >> we have touched, i would say practically all areas where you would like to consider possible reforms, so be it governance, finances, the various
11:55 am
competences of the various bodies. we are not yet at the stage of the proposals we have covered, reviewed and exchanged opinions in all areas. roger federer highlights action at the u.s. open. meanwhile serena williams is one step closer to completing her sweep of all four grand slams in a calendar year. >> reporter: her victory is expected long before she steps on to the court at any grand slam. but she faced an early challenge. the woman was 4-0 up in the first set tiebreaker, but williams recovered to take the match in straight sets. 7-6, 6-3. >> i definitely feel more determined to do better than
11:56 am
what i did. and i know i can play better. >> novak djokovic had no problems. the top seed dropped just seven games in a dominant display, dancing his way into the third round with a post match oncourt performance. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: it was hard to top djokovic, but nadal fought his way through. he needed a tie break to win the first set, but took the next two, 6-3, 7-5. he says he is being written off by fans and the media. >> i am not 100, you know. [ laughter ] >> yeah, but -- i don't know it seems like i'm number 200 in every press conference. [ laughter ] >> reporter: and the professional career of the american ended with a five-set loss to lopez.
11:57 am
he completed sparingly since 2012 when he withdraw from a fourth round match with roger federer and was subsequently treated for anxiety disorder. >> this is the biggest one and the most fun, and the one you want to go out on, but this one was extra special -- or extra special meaning for me because of how -- hot it happened in 2012. >> reporter: three-time grand slam quarter finalists, he says he will now focus on helping others overcome mental health issues. there's plenty more sport on our website. for all of the latest check out we have got blogs and video from our correspondents around the world. that is all of the sport for now, laura. >> do say with us here on al jazeera if you can with another full bulletin of news from
11:58 am
london with david foster. ♪ >> drilling in the arctic. >> rapid change is always an alarming thing to see. >> as the ice caps recede... and the ocean opens up... how can we protect our natural resources? >> this is what innovation looks like. >> scientists reveal cutting-edge technologies... >> you can look beyond the horizon and extend your reach. >> that could avert disaster while helping save the planet. >> i feel like i have a front row seat for some very dramatic changes.
11:59 am
12:00 pm
family of refugees fighting to be able to continue their journey across europe and on to germany. ♪ good to have you with us. you're watching al jazeera with me, david foster. also coming up in the next 30 minutes. thousands of farmers converge on paris demanding the government does more to help them fight rising costs. the former congolese rebel leader testifies at his war crimes trial, saying he never